Tajikistan ratifies deal for Russian military base
- Associated Press
- October 1, 2013 - 12:55 PM
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — The parliament of Tajikistan has voted to extend the presence of Russian troops in the ex-Soviet nation on Afghanistan's northern border until 2042.
The prospect of the NATO coalition's withdrawal from Afghanistan next year has raised fears that violence could spill over.
Tajikistan's defense minister told parliament that in return for the base agreement, Russia would continue to supply Tajikistan with weapons and train its officer corps. About 500 Tajik officers are currently studying in Russia.
Russia has about 4,000 troops in Tajikistan based in three garrisons: in Dushanbe, the capital, and in the southern cities of Kulyab and Kurgan-Tube.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his counterpart from Tajikistan, Emomali Rakhmon, had reached agreement on extending the base lease nearly a year ago, but it was only ratified on Tuesday.
© 2013 Star Tribune